Over the course of their deep history spanning 100 years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had many legends in the net.
Clearly, there are many Toronto Maple Leafs goalkeepers I have not seen in the course of their history, so this is more of a statistical analysis than an opinion piece.
While compiling this list, the things I considered most were honors handed out to the Leafs players, awards received by the players from the NHL while playing for the Leafs, and where the players ranked in NHL statistics each season.
When it comes to statistics, I mostly look at save percentage in individual seasons and then goals against the average. I feel that wins and losses are more of a team-based statistic than a goalie statistic. Overall career statistics can vary greatly depending on the era each player played, so I compare goalkeepers with players from their era rather than against players from different eras.
I also look closely at seasons that the players played at the Leafs. It does not matter what they did before or after they were with the Leafs. I also only look at statistics where the goalkeeper played at least 31.25% of the matches of the season as I use statistics from hockey-reference.com and that’s how they do it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at these goalkeepers:
The Vezina Trophy was first awarded in 1927 and was originally given to the goalkeeper who played the most matches for the team with the lowest number of goals against. In 1982, the rules changed and Vezina was awarded the NHL’s Most Outstanding Goalkeeper by ballot, and the William M Jennings Trophy was passed to be awarded for the fewest goals against.
Since Jennings is not really considered a big prize today, I do not place too much emphasis on Vezina’s victories before 1982. The Hart trophy poll has existed since 1924, and the 1st All-Star Team and 2nd All-Star Team poll have been has taken place since 1931 and I feel that a vote has more weight than goals against, as goals against depend a lot on the team’s defense rather than just the goalkeeper.
Shots were not counted in the NHL until the 1955-56 season, so the save percentage was not a registered state until then.
Let’s start with some honorable mentions: